Monday, May 15, 2017

"Baptizing is the payoff for a missionary!"

Andreza's Baptism

Hi everybody!!!
So this week was awesome!!!!!!! We had a great week and saw many miracles and had many moments that made me very grateful to our Heavenly Father. He does so many things in our lives and we need to be more grateful for him everyday of our lives. If we all really stop and look at how much we are blessed, we will be amazed! 
So this week started out great. I don't know if you guys remember Elder Janish? He was the other American who was a Broncos fan too and we lived in the same apartment for my last transfer in Itabuna. Well, he is in the last few months of his mission and he was just made the traveling Assistant to the President. So he was here for the first few days of this week. He helped a lot and it was great to see a great friend again and learn too! 
Tuesday afternoon we went to visit Cristielen and Luis Paulo. We had a REALLY cool visit. Cristielen is like right there to be baptized. We talked to them about the Restoration again and what they remembered from that first lesson we had with them. The Spirit was really strong and we talked about Joseph and his whole experience. We met with them for a while and towards the end Luiz had to leave. When he left we started to talk to Cristielen about praying to get an answer for the truthfulness about all that we have taught her. She asked us how she would get an answer. We then explained about the Holy Ghost. She then told us a very cool experience she had had a few days before. She said she is like a pretty paranoid person about people robbing and hurting her and her family. She said how a few days ago she was just really feeling off for some reason and that she woke up around midnight. She said she was feeling so bad and that there was like a bad presence in the room. So what did she do? Got on her knees and prayed. She said as she prayed, crying out to Heavenly Father, she felt like in a moment someone just gave her a huge warm hug. She said she started to cry out of joy because that bad feeling was gone in one moment and her prayer was answered in one instant. As Cristielen was telling this story the Spirit was SO STRONG it is impossible to describe. We all were feeling it and we told her that same feeling will be what he feels when she gets her answer! 
One of the best parts of the week came Tuesday night. We went to visit Andreza, who still had been iffy about the baptism thing. Elder Souza, Elder Janish and I went to visit her that night. We got there and Elder Janish was talking with her about a lot of stuff; The Restoration, the Holy Ghost, Baptism, and everything. We had only been there for a about 15 minutes and she was acting quiet. Elder Janish looked at me and I figured that was my cue to talk so I did the baptismal invitation, the one Andreza has heard already about 6 times. After I finished, I looked at her and waited, and she says, "Yes. I will get baptized." WHAT?!?!! I kind of just sat there in shock not knowing what to do. I couldn’t believe it and was SOOOO excited. Elder Souza took over and said, "So this Saturday we will have a baptism at the church. Can you be prepared for that day?" Again Andreza replied with yes! I was so happy I almost started to cry! We have been trying to get her baptized for months and out of nowhere she said yes!! It was so awesome! But more on that subject later!! 
Wednesday night was cool! Elder Souza did not have his Patriarchal Blessing so he had to talk to Bishop Guerra last week to get it all set up. So Wednesday night we headed over to the Stake Center here in Vitoria da Conquista for Elder Souza to get his blessing. While we were waiting for him we saw that there were some guys out back playing basketball on the court there! The coolest part was when I saw my dude Vagner!! He was there playing basketball! Literally every time I see that guy doing ANYTHING at the church I get so happy! He has changed so much and I love to see him! Him and his wife plan on getting sealed in the temple next year!! 
Thursday was also good! After a FANTASTIC lunch at the Bishop's house, we had a division. Elder Roberto, the District Leader, was with me in my area because he had to do the baptismal interview for Andreza! Earlier in the day we went over to Cristielen's to see how she was doing. We got there and found out that her husband had gotten pretty sick in the days before. So we had planned on teaching some of the commandments for them both, but he was sick and sleeping so we had to change our approach. Elder Roberto wanted to get to know her a little bit so he just talked to her a little bit and then we felt like we needed to talk about The Gift of the Holy Ghost with her. So we did! And it was great! Then we started to talk a little bit about the 10 commandments. It was great and she really wanted to know more so we said we would go back the next day. Thursday night was the interview with Andreza and it took about 15 minutes haha! Elder Roberto said she was really ready so I was happy about that one! 
Friday, Elder Souza and I were back together again and we went to visit Cristielen. We found out that her daughter had now gotten sick too!! But we taught her the Word of Wisdom. The one problem is coffee, like it is with most people. She said it is going to be really hard for her to stop drinking coffee but that she will try her best! We were really excited to hear that so that was awesome. We also invited her to the baptism Saturday but with her entire family sick, minus her, it wasn't going to work out. But she is progressing well and we are excited to see what the future holds for her! Friday we also found Elen again! She was the girl who we taught on the side of the road last week! She is way awesome and was REALLY interested about the Book of Mormon. She left town Friday night and is getting back Tuesday morning so we gave her a book for the ride and she said she would read it! 
So Saturday was the baptism!!! Everything was prefect and I was the one who got to baptize her! I haven't actually performed a baptism since my very first one in my first transfer! So it was so awesome to feel the Spirit like that again. It was incredible. Andreza was so happy and so was everyone else there. Baptizing is the payoff for a missionary and it felt so good to see her so happy and peaceful!! I love this gospel!!!! 
I love you all and I hope you all have a great week!!! 

Elder Spencer P. Christofferson

Traditional Baptism Selfie- Andreza and I after her baptism. 

Bishop Guerra with us before the Baptism

Elder Janish and I reunited! 
Elder Janish and our District

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